When preparing and packing for a hike you will need to decide what you will be needing. Is this a short morning or afternoon hike? An all day hike requiring extra water and some food/energy bars? An overnight requiring at least a sleeping bag and maybe a small tent? Once you know that the hike is going to be, you should lay out all your required equipment and supplies. Then, of course, what is it going to go in? A half day hike might only require a small backpack or even a fanny pack. A full day – a larger backpack.

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An overnight or multi-night trip – night require a full frame backpack. Serious hikers may own many different packs for different activities. Starting hikers should most likely choice a smaller standard backpack that can handle an all day hike and just pack less in it for half day or short hikes. Use the links below to review some of your options before you buy. Depending on your purchase it may be as little as $40.00 to almost $200.00 for a top of the line full frame pack. It might be okay to start with a $20.00 discount pack from a department store, but it likely will not have the durability to withstand the rigors of several seasons of heavy use.

Below are some small fanny packs or waist packs for those short causal strolls of a hour or two. Even in you are going to gone a couple hours, a small first aid kit, a personal locator beacon, a flashlight/headlamp and a change or two of soaks are recommended. Plus water and a few snacks. A small compact disposable rain coat/cover might not hurt either. This items can all be packed in a small waist pack. I like to keep one packed all the time and always ready to go so I can just grab and go at anytime with no additional planning.

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Courtesy S. Ward – The ride to the pumpkin patch